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Sleep your way to health and fitness

Sleep your way to health and fitness

8 Days Ago

Fiona

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Worrying about what’s gone on today and what’s happening tomorrow is the most common cited reason why people feel they don’t sleep well. Physical discomfort, such as needing the toilet, was another.

Other research points to the use of light emitting devices, such as mobile phones, laptops and watching TV late at night. The blue light suppresses melatonin production which is important for sleep.

Caffeine and alcohol consumption, particularly in the evenings is another key factor. The caffeine from a single cup of coffee can stay in your system for up to 56 hours, and even decaffeinated coffee contains a small but significant amount of caffeine (up to 10mgs per cup).

Why is sleep so important?

Did you know that the majority of your human growth hormone is generated while you sleep? It’s crucial for building lean body mass and brain tissue, and recovering from the demands of the day.

Your risk of stroke and some cancers also seems to be correlated with how well you sleep, as well as how quickly and gracefully your body ages.

So how can you ensure a better night’s sleep? Here are my top tips:

  • Avoid caffeine after lunchtime
  • Avoid drinking alcohol before bed
  • If you find yourself waking up to go to the toilet during the night, try to avoid drinking anything for 2 hours before you go to bed
  • Aim to eat your last meal by 7pm, and make it your smallest meal of the day
  • Switch your mobile/laptop/TV off 2 hours before bed
  • Have a hot bath with Epsom salts in the evening – 2 mugfuls in a bath is about right
  • Write down your to-do list in a book, as well as any worries from the day, so they get out of your head and down on paper
 

With these top tips, you should find that you're more able to doze off and sleep right through the night. So here's to a great night's sleep!

Wishing you all the best in health and happiness,

Fiona


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